The village of Madras in Haiti

Madras is a tiny, poor fishing village near the corner of Haiti's northeastern plain where Christopher Columbus probably established "New World", the first European settlement in 1492. Even a few years back, the villagers used to live in a way, which could have been familiar with Columbian era - they had to rely on oil lamps for light in the night, go to bed early, gather salt and small fishes to dry in the sun to use as food. One U.S estimate suggests that more than 75% of the inhabitants in Madras live on less than $2.0 a day, and about two third of them are unemployed. Now Madras is one of the very few places in Haiti, where people have 24X7 uninterrupted, reliable power supply which not even the whole of the capital city enjoys. It is one of the more than a dozen small communities where Episcopal Church offers support and care. Episcopal Diocese of New York is working in this struggling community with about 40 children and young adults who have a desperate appetite for learning.The faculty of the St. Pierre Community School is dedicated to teach and give them minimal education who cannot afford to pay the $10 per trimester tuition fees.


Madras, the poor fishing village outside Cap-Haitien is the home of 85 families. Out of that, 14 households have applied for power connection. Thanks to the $18 million U.S financed power plant built to feed nearby Caracol Industrial Park. The Caracol is still a dream project to transform Northern Haiti into a hub of industry. The electric plant was built by the USAID and it is operated by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), USA. The average power bill per month per household in Madras is $10 which almost equals what many pay for their cell phones every month. After the 2010 earthquake, international donors pledged $16 billion in funding through 2020. The funding of $9.5 billion was received during the first two years, which was more than three times the revenue of Haitian government during the same period. However, critics are of opinion that only a fraction of that foreign aid ended up in the Haitian hands. However, the flood of relief aid is receding as the short term boom it generated is gradually fading. The situation could be worse because the main donor of Haiti, next to the U.S, Venezuela is under immense pressure of low oil prices. A political crisis is brewing in the country due to the long-delayed legislative and parliamentary elections.

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